The Mill on the Floss

The Mill on the Floss

by

George Eliot

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Philip Wakem Character Analysis

Philip is the only son of Mr. Wakem, a wealthy lawyer who becomes the enemy of Mr. Tulliver, and by extension, Tom Tulliver. Philip has a physical “deformity,” a hunchback, which makes him feel depressed and insecure. However, he is also very intelligent, sensitive, and gifted. He maintains an uneasy friendship with Tom—who admires Philip’s intelligence but has contempt for his disability—when they both study with Mr. Stelling. When Maggie comes to visit Tom, Philip feels an instant kinship, since they share many intellectual and artistic interests. Philip falls in love with Maggie and begins meeting secretly with her in the woods around Dorlcote Mill, where he gives her books and encourages her reading and cultural interests. However, the hatred between the Wakems and the Tullivers thwarts their romance. Philip’s love is further frustrated by Maggie’s attraction to and elopement with Stephen Guest, even though she doesn’t go through with the marriage. However, he ultimately forgives Maggie, apologizing for pressing his romantic feelings on her when she might not have felt the same. Philip’s compassion and sensitivity make him an important figure in Maggie’s life, since he is one of the only people to recognize and support her deeper intellectual and emotional aspirations.

Philip Wakem Quotes in The Mill on the Floss

The The Mill on the Floss quotes below are all either spoken by Philip Wakem or refer to Philip Wakem. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Oxford University Press edition of The Mill on the Floss published in 2015.
Book 2, Chapter 3 Quotes

“It’s part of the education of a gentleman,” said Philip. “All gentlemen learn the same things.”

Related Characters: Philip Wakem (speaker), Tom Tulliver
Page Number: 154
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 2, Chapter 7 Quotes

When they did meet, she remembered her promise to kiss him, but, as a young lady who had been at a boarding-school, she knew now that such a greeting was out of the question, and that Philip would not expect it. This promise was void, like so many other sweet, illusory promises of our childhood; void as promises made in Eden […] impossible to be fulfilled when the golden gates had been passed.

Related Characters: Maggie Tulliver, Philip Wakem
Page Number: 174-175
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 5, Chapter 4 Quotes

“But it isn’t for that, that I’m jealous for the dark women—not because I’m dark myself. It’s because I always care the most about the unhappy people: if the blond girl were forsaken, I should like her best. I always take the side of the rejected lover in the stories.”

Related Characters: Maggie Tulliver (speaker), Philip Wakem
Related Symbols: Maggie’s Hair
Page Number: 306
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 5, Chapter 5 Quotes

“But you have always enjoyed punishing me—you have always been hard and cruel to me: even when I was a little girl, and always loved you better than any one else in the world, you would let me go crying to bed without forgiving me. You have no pity: you have no sense of your own imperfection and your own sins.”

Related Characters: Maggie Tulliver (speaker), Tom Tulliver, Philip Wakem
Page Number: 319
Explanation and Analysis:
Book 6, Chapter 8 Quotes

“We don't ask what a woman does—we ask whom she belongs to. It's altogether a degrading thing to you to think of marrying old Tulliver’s daughter.”

Related Characters: Mr. Wakem (speaker), Maggie Tulliver, Mr. Tulliver, Philip Wakem
Page Number: 394
Explanation and Analysis:
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Philip Wakem Character Timeline in The Mill on the Floss

The timeline below shows where the character Philip Wakem appears in The Mill on the Floss. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Book 2, Chapter 3
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
When Tom returns to school, Mr. Stelling informs him that he has a new companion—Philip Wakem, the fifteen-year-old son of the lawyer Wakem. When Tom first sees Philip in the... (full context)
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Philip loves his studies and enjoys the stories of the Greeks in The Odyssey, which he... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 4
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
As they settle in to their lessons together, Tom and Philip maintain an uneasy friendship. Tom likes Philip’s stories and his help with Latin, but Philip... (full context)
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
...Poulter, an old soldier who fought with the Duke of Wellington against Napoleon. Tom asks Philip to come outside to see him sword-fight, but Philip angrily refuses, feeling humiliated by the... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 5
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
After their fight, Tom and Philip speak to each other only when necessary, namely because Philip can’t forgive Tom for calling... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 6
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
As Tom recovers from his injury, Philip feels compassion for him and sits with Tom and Maggie often, telling them stories from... (full context)
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...comes to collect Maggie and take her to school, she tells him that she loves Philip. Mr. Tulliver says that it’s fine for Tom and Maggie to be kind to the... (full context)
Book 2, Chapter 7
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
Once Maggie goes to school, she rarely sees Philip. She sometimes sees him on the streets of St. Ogg’s during the holidays, but knows... (full context)
Book 3, Chapter 1
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...Dorlcote Mill. Tom is furious at this news and tells Maggie to never speak to Philip again. (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 1
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Walking in the Red Deeps, the woods near the mill, Maggie encounters Philip Wakem, who is now twenty-one years old. Philip confesses that he has thought of her... (full context)
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Philip gives Maggie a book and asks if he can come and walk with her in... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 3
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Maggie meets Philip again in the Red Deeps, determined to tell him that it is impossible for them... (full context)
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Philip suggests that they wouldn’t be doing anything wrong if they were to meet each other... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 4
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
A year later, Maggie and Philip are still meeting in the woods to exchange books and talk. Maggie tells him that... (full context)
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Philip confesses that he is in love with Maggie and hopes she could love a man... (full context)
Book 5, Chapter 5
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
At tea with the Dodson sisters, Mrs. Pullet mentions Philip’s name, and Maggie blushes. Tom sees this and becomes suspicious. That afternoon, he follows Maggie... (full context)
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Tom then walks Maggie to the Red Downs, where he confronts Philip. Tom threatens Philip with dire punishments if he should ever try to speak or write... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 1
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
...Maggie has blonde hair and blue eyes, like Mrs. Tulliver. They would like to invite Philip Wakem as well to join the family party, but Lucy explains that there are tensions... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 2
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
Lucy mentions that Philip Wakem sometimes comes to sing with them. Maggie tells her that she always liked Philip... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 3
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
...for not having changed into her nightdress yet. She tells Maggie that she has invited Philip to come and stay. Maggie explains that she can’t see Philip because she swore to... (full context)
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...to reveal her secrets as well. Maggie tells Lucy the story of her romance with Philip and the obstacles facing them. Lucy thinks this is “very beautiful” and promises to help... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 4
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
...lodging after the loss of Dorlcote Mill. She tells him that Lucy wishes to invite Philip to dinner, but promises that she won’t speak to him in private or encourage his... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 6
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
...a while to talk with Maggie. The atmosphere between them is tense, until Stephen mentions Philip’s name, at which point Maggie quickly busies herself with her sewing. Perceiving that he may... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 7
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
Philip visits Lucy’s house and sees Maggie for the first time since their separation. In front... (full context)
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
When Stephen arrives, Philip feels irritated by his “strong presence and bright voice.” Stephen and Maggie treat each other... (full context)
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
Knowledge and Ignorance Theme Icon
Philip sings “I love thee still,” which Maggie takes as an indication of his continuing feelings... (full context)
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Mr. Deane enters the room, putting an end to the music. He asks Philip about whether Mr. Wakem has gotten tired of farming, a line of inquiry that puzzles... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 8
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Lucy tells Philip about her scheme to get Guest & Co to buy Dorlcote Mill for Tom, thus... (full context)
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Philip shows Mr. Wakem two drawings he has made of Maggie as a girl and as... (full context)
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...church and thinks she is very beautiful. He muses that she must be fond of Philip, if she agreed to meet him in the woods. Philip reminds Mr. Wakem how much... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 9
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...Lucy whispers to Stephen that the family quarrel may soon be healed. Stephen notices that Philip seems to be watching Maggie very closely. Given the evidence of Lucy’s comment, Mr. Wakem’s... (full context)
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Stephen places a hand on Philip’s shoulder and says that Maggie looks very sullen today. Recognizing this as a ruse, Philip... (full context)
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...by Maggie's sudden departure, just when things seems to be working out between Maggie and Philip. Lucy asks whether Maggie doesn’t love Philip enough to want to marry him, but Maggie... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 10
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
Philip steals out to Maggie’s carriage before she leaves for Mrs. Moss’s house. He asks her... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 11
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...He argues that if they love one another, they must break off their engagements with Philip and Lucy. It is “natural” for them to be together, he tells her, because they... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 12
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
Lucy finds a way to have a private conversation with Tom. She tells him that Philip loves Maggie, hoping that Tom will be softened by the return of Dorlcote Mill. Tom,... (full context)
Book 6, Chapter 13
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...that Maggie seems depressed, but attributes this to Tom’s continuing opposition to her marriage to Philip. Hoping to bring Maggie and Philip together, Lucy suggests that they should take a boat... (full context)
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
The next morning, Philip is too distressed and ill to go on the boat, and Stephen offers to take... (full context)
Book 7, Chapter 3
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...the seaside for her health, but is feeling much better. Maggie remains very concerned for Philip, until one day she receives a letter from him. Philip writes that he believes her... (full context)
Book 7, Chapter 5
Women’s Roles and Social Pressures Theme Icon
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...this impulse in herself, remembering the joy she felt at being forgiven by Lucy and Philip. (full context)
Conclusion
Memory and Childhood Theme Icon
Tolerance and Forgiveness  Theme Icon
...have vanished. Dorlcote Mill has been rebuilt, and the Tulliver family graveyard is quiet again. Philip, Stephen, and Lucy often visit the grave marking Tom and Maggie’s burial place. Philip always... (full context)